I do what I wanna do, I say what I wanna say
When I feel, and I..look in the mirror and know I'm there
With my hands in the air, I'm proud to say yeah
I'm real, I'm real, I'm really really real
After the prayer (at the end of Dying of Thirst) Kendrick feels rejuvenated and free in a sense and he is able to look at what he’s been through in another light.
This also can be seen as Kendrick’s overcome of peer pressure. As he mentioned in songs before, specifically “The Art of Peer Pressure” but in others also, it was peer pressure that caused him to drink, smoke weed and gang bang in the streets. By him saying that he’s doing what he wants to do, saying what he wants when he feels like it, it’s him beginning living his own real life and not what other’s influence him to do. Also, by saying he looks in the mirror and knows he’s there, he see himself and not the other peers which had influenced him to do things that he deep down didn’t want to do. Before, Kendrick was doing what the homies wanted to do. But now, Kendrick is doing KENDRICK.
Kendrick also explains later on in the song, especially K.dots 3rd verse where he speaks about himself. Nothing he loves, including her and him from verse 1 and 2 are “real”.
Later on, Kendrick’s father leaves a voicemail and says:
“Real is responsibility, real is taking care of your motherfuckin' family, real is God nigga.”
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